About a year ago, I had the opportunity to visit the Cherry Creek Innovation Campus, a career preparedness facility for high school students in the Cherry Creek School District, located just outside of Denver, Colo.
This visit was part of an AASA Youth Apprenticeship Summit, where superintendents joined me to get a firsthand look at engaged and motivated students pursuing potential pathways to gain the skills necessary to earn a portable credential in preparation for their next step, whether that was heading directly to college or entering the workforce.
For generations, maintaining a leadership role in reshaping America’s public education agenda has always been an integral part of AASA’s DNA. Just a few days after the outcome of the 2020 elections, we were pleased to issue a set of proposed education policy recommendations for President-elect Biden and Vice President-elect Harris.
We know that the new administration is looking for a path forward, and a healthy and quick response to, and recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic.
AASA is committed to having a strong professional and collaborative relationship with the next administration. The policy recommendations we are proposing culminate our efforts to set a new, positive course for American education and ensure America is a land of opportunity for every child.
soon kicks off a weeklong celebration on behalf of the more than 50 million
students who are learning and growing in our nation’s public schools.
Schools Week 2020 (Feb. 24-28), school systems large and small will showcase the
good news happening inside their classrooms. This annual recognition highlights
the critical role public education plays in shaping our nation’s future
and underscores why it serves as the bedrock of our democracy.
that nine out of 10 children attend public schools, there is no better time
than now to speak out for our young learners.
celebration will get a jump-start when hundreds of superintendents—the CEOs of
our public school districts and America’s ambassadors of great learning—arrive
in San Diego for the 2020 National Conference on Education (Feb. 13-15),
hosted by AASA, The School Superintendents Association. Year in, year out,
this annual gathering attracts some of the country’s foremost education thought
leaders addressing the needs of every child, every day.
Our last school visit in Morocco took us
to the Rabat American School. Principal Sean Goudie was a most welcoming and
gracious host. The school is brand new and located in a spacious campus by the
shores of the Atlantic Ocean. They accommodate 450 pre-k to 12th grade students
who come from 44 different countries. The majority, however, are American and
This year’s AASA International Seminar is special. The delegation includes current AASA President Deb Kerr, President-elect Kristi Sandvik and Past-presidents Pat Neudecker, Amy Sichel and Gail Pletnick.
year at this time, the AASA International Seminar takes superintendents and
other interested parties to other parts of the world. The intent is to learn
about the educational systems and cultures in the places we visit. These trips
never fail to make an impression on the participants.
This year’s trip to Morocco is no exception. It’s an hour bus ride through arid, desolate land to our first school visit to a tribal school in the remote hills outside of Marrakech. A brown landscape is sprinkled with the occasional green of scrub vegetation.
We learn from our guide that the school is very excited about our visit and that they have been preparing for it for days. This will not be a typical school visit. We are in a remote area that is home to one of the many isolated tribes that have occupied the territory for hundreds of years.
Off in the distance from our
hotel, one could spot the infamous Hollywood sign perched on the Santa Monica
Mountains. They say Hollywood is where the stars are. As far as I was concerned,
the only stars that mattered were the 2,000 superintendents and other
administrators who joined us in the City of Angels to celebrate excellence in
school system leadership.
As families coast to coast are celebrating this blessed Thanksgiving holiday, I am so proud of the more than 13,000 school district leaders who are working diligently to enhance the lives of our young learners.
Thank you for the powerful contributions you are creating and providing on behalf of the future leaders of society.
Thank you for serving as a voice for our public schools, the real lifeblood of our democracy.
As long as I’ve been working in public education, this time of year has always been very special. On behalf of the entire AASA family, we hope our superintendents and those aspiring to become superintendents have a fantastic school year filled with the creation of positive solutions that will translate into greater academic outcomes for our students.
I’ve been saying for years that superintendents are the nation’s foremost thought leaders in public education. Last week, our school system leaders spoke out about some very critical issues that directly affect the lives of our students. We need to listen to what was said and do something about it.